Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot is going on sale the next year (2019). Boston Dynamics has 10 SpotMini prototypes now and will work with manufacturing partners to build 100 this year, company co-founder and President Marc Raibert said at a TechCrunch robotics conference. “That’s a prelude to getting into a higher rate of production” in anticipation of sales next year, he said.
SpotMini is a small four-legged robot that comfortably fits in an office or home. It weighs 25 kg (30 kg if you include the arm). SpotMini robot is all-electric and can go for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing and it is the quietest robot that the company has built.
SpotMini inherits all of the mobility of its bigger brother, Spot, while adding the ability to pick up and handle objects using its 5 degree-of-freedom arm and beefed up perception sensors. The sensor suite includes stereo cameras, depth cameras, an IMU, and position/force sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation.
The founder of company didn’t reveal price plans, but said the SpotMini robot could be useful for security patrols or for helping construction companies keep tabs on what’s happening at building sites. SpotMini can be customized with attachments and extra software for particular jobs, he said.
“Most places have something where wheels don’t get you everywhere,” Raibert said. “We think SpotMini can go to a much larger fraction of places.”
“This robot is using cameras facing forward, backward and on two sides to navigate through space,” Raibert said. “The internet lets you touch all the information in the world, but robots let you touch everything in the world and manipulate it,” he said. “That’s a bigger idea.”